Saturday, February 25, 2012

What is the Most Important Thing in the World?

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” – Ruth 1:16~17

Have you, at one point in your life, asked the question, “What is the most important thing in the whole wide world?”

I once saw a very strange movie. It’s about a futuristic place where people have a clock inside their arm, literally speaking. I find it very strange because instead of using money to exchange goods and services, they used their time. For example, if a person wanted to buy something, a certain amount of time would be deducted from his/her clock using a special machine, and if that person was employed, instead of receiving money as his/her salary, a certain amount of time will be added to his/her clock. Not only that, if that person runs out of time -- his/her clock displays ‘00:00:00:00:00’ -- he/she dies instantly. In their world, the most important thing is TIME.

Not in our world. 

If there is a vault that keeps the most important thing in the world, what do you think you will see inside if you open it? 


Relationship is the most important thing in the world. The rests, including power, money and time, are just means to this end. At least, this is what our Creator intends it to be. (Ponder on it.)

When Jesus was asked by a Pharisee, an expert of the law, what is the Greatest Commandment in the Law, Jesus replied with not just one, but two. Both of these started with the word ‘love’: (1) Love God about all things, (2) Love others as much as yourself. And both laws are about RELATIONSHIP.

As a father of three adorable daughters and one very cute baby boy, one of my secret fears in life is to wake up one day estranged from my children. Because if I take a hard look at my God-given role as a father, when all the non-essentials are stripped away, what remains is only my relationship with my children. Our love for each other, and the memories we shared together are the only things that I can take with me to my grave.

Today your Father in heaven yearns to have a relationship with you because he loves you so much. In his infinite wisdom He knows that His children, can only survive and thrive in this world if they cling to Him for guidance, nourishment and protection because this world has many fierce, and hungry lions (according to St. Paul) ever ready to devour them.

Yet the world is filled with many prodigal sons and daughters. Lost sheep. The path of the world is littered with misery, suffering, emptiness, brokenness, strife, etc. because many failed to protect and grow the most important aspects in their lives – their relationships with their God, with themselves, and with others.   

But the good news is that your Father in heaven is a forgiving God. He is always ready to embrace even the worst prodigal son or daughter who repented of his/her sins, and choose to come back to Him. To the Father, your relationship with Him is more important than your sins and the wicked things you did in the past. 

Your Father in heaven is a loyal father. 

Haven't you wondered why your still alive today? Without you knowing it, He was there with you to protect you when you're lost in sins, when you foolishly elbowed with death thinking it was fun. He was there with you even when you deliberately disobeyed, displeased and dishonor Him; He was hoping that you would come to your senses and decide to return home. 

He loves us first, before we love him. He is a loyal Father to you and to me.

How can I claim to be sure of this? Because I am a father. A father should teach his children what’s right and wrong not just by words, but more importantly by his examples. How can the Father expects us to be loyal to Him if He himself cannot be loyal to us? Remember, our Father is a just and righteous God.

One more proof. The Father sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die on the cross so that we, rebels of His own kingdom, might gain life. Isn’t that enough proof? To a father like me, it is enough proof of God’s amazing and out-of-this-world love for us, His children. 

How should we return the Father's great love for us?


Just as Ruth was ever loyal to Naomi so should we to the Father; any father would be very pleased to see the loyalty of Ruth in his child. We should stick with Him through thick and thin, in joy and sorrow, in sickness and in health, in victory and in defeat till our last breath. Why? 
A business man was lying in his deathbed. Knowing that he was nearing his last breath, his wife and all his children gathered around him. Soon the old man opened his eyes and looked around him. Upon seeing his children he started nodding his head slightly as he looked at each one of them. Without warning his mouth began to quiver, and his once tiredness eyes blazed with anger. Being a thoughtful and understanding woman, his wife approached him and comforted him, "Relax, dear. I know you are upset at yourself because you spend so much time with our business that you forget to spend quality time with your children. Don't worry they've forgiven you." All his children nodded their heads in agreement. With all the strength he could muster, the old businessman struggle to voice out what was in his heart, "You're all here? Who's tending our stores?"

Kidding aside, in our deathbed we will not regret the material things that we couldn't buy, the deals that we failed to close, the promotions that we did not get, etc. What we would most likely regret is our failure to treasure, grow, and protect our relationships with our love ones. What we would certainly fear is our failure to establish a personal relationship with God.

Because in the end, the only thing that really matters is our relationships with God, wiht ourselves and with others. The rests are just means to this end. 

Finally, relationship is measured by loyalty. God does not want a lukewarm relationship with us. He expects no less than a personal relationship with Him, a relationship that will stand against the tests of time, a relationship characterized by a timeless loyalty.

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